Grass Lake – The dream to begin apostolic activities among Latinos in this area once again has come true. The Guanellian Family, with a commitment to live together in the spirit of Pope Francis and our Founder who remind us to share the sufferings and hopes of those in need. The Diocesan Bishop, Earl Boyea, has blessed us, the pastor, Father Bob Roggenbuck, greeted us with gratitude and the Latinos welcomed Fr. Paul Oggioni, Fr. Satheesh, Sr. Rosemary Bell, Paco Lopez and his wife Millie and other GLM members. Their joy was immense. Youth, adults, the sick, were touched and grateful to the Lord for this new ministry to which they feel called. During the celebration they expressed their faith with prayers and songs, pledging to evangelize, promoting unity by their daily witness. There are more than 13,000 Latinos in the county; we will visit them, gather and bless them so that, all will be “el pueblo que camina, juntos como hermanos, al encuentro del Señor.”
Grass Lake – On September 15th, friends and faithful gathered in the Shrine of St. Joseph to celebrate the 50th and 25th anniversary of Fr. Paul and Sr. Brenda. It was a meaningful celebration. During the homily Fr. Paul connected the message of the Sunday’s readings with the meaning of the Guanellian religious commitment as a way to participate in the mission of the Church. Then the two renewed their Vows before the assembly. After Mass everyone was invited for refreshments.
The evening of the same day Fr. Paul, Fr. Satheesh, Sr. Rosemary and Sr. Brenda joined together the Eucharistic Celebration at the Camp of the Latino workers. Bishop Boyea of Lansing presided at the celebration. It was meaningful for all of them to be there and to assure to the Bishop that the Servants of Charity and the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence are committed to work with the Latino immigrants following their Guanellian vocation and open to the needs of the local Church. After the celebration the Fathers and Sisters were the special guests of a friendly supper Latino style, prepared for all the participants.
Grass Lake – On April 21, the Archdiocese of Detroit invited Father Paul Oggioni SC to be one of the Keynote Speakers for the Sixth Annual Hispanic Catholic Men’s Conference of Detroit. This annual event is the largest gathering of Hispanic Catholic men in Michigan. Father Paul spoke about the role of husbands and fathers in building the family as a “School of Faith.” Dr. Paco López, a member of the Lay Guanellian Movement also participated in the conference, giving a workshop on the Theology of the Body for Men. In addition, Father Paul and Dr. López hosted a table at the Conference with Guanellian literature as well as vocational information. Many people, including dozens of young men, visited the “Guanellian Table” to learn more about St. Luigi Guanella and the Servants of Charity. The Guanellian presence in this conference served as a wonderful opportunity to spread information in the growing Catholic Hispanic Community about our Charism, and the work of the Servants of Charity in Michigan and in the world.
Delaware County, PA – In order to establish Base Ecclesial communities for Latinos in this area, two groups of lay persons meet once a week for a Bible and basic Catechism formation program; ‘new evangelization’ the South American way. The last Saturday of each month they are learning practical ways for effective evangelizing. On July 28th, 40 people gathered to strengthen their fundamental knowledge of the Bible and to learn the steps to implement apostolic action:
- to See – being in contact with reality
- to Think – according to the Word of God and the magisterium of the Church
- to Act – according to what was planned
- to Evaluate – accomplishments and failures
- to Celebrate – our faith expressing our gratitude to God.
Fr. Paul taught the pattern to follow to promote this experience: the Word of God, prayer and catechesis. The participants committed themselves to invite others to join the weekly formation. In August and September they will study the fundamental truths of the faith.
Chester – One year ago the Holy Family House in Chester was officially dedicated; giving life to our dreams of ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of the Latino immigrants. It is a humble experience; sharing their difficulties, empowering them to visibly express their faith, celebrating their ways of living family life and their cultural and religious traditions. Statistics report that 36% of U.S. Catholics are Latino, and 68 % of immigrants have lost their Catholic identity as they become immersed in a culture so different from their own.
June 24, 2012, two Base Ecclesial Communities were formed. This custom from their homeland brings together small groups of families that want to live and witness their faith; evangelizing and sustaining others through Bible study, catechetical formation and prayer meetings. By imitating the first Christian communities, sharing their spiritual and material challenges, these groups can help to end the sense of spiritual and social isolation many of the immigrants currently experience.
In October after three months of formation, they will receive the “missionary mandate” to begin evangelizing among Latino families. It is in answer to the Synod of Bishops gathered in Rome suggesting ways to become more active in the New Evangelization of the world.